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Bebop Spoken There

Erin Davis: "I knew he [Miles Davis] was a famous musician, but didn't quite understand how famous." - (The Observer Magazine 29 March 2020)

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COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Schmazz @ the JazzCafé presents Riff Raff – March 31.

Brigitte Beraha (vocals); George Crowley (sax); Rob Updegraff (guitar); Ivo Neame (keyboards, accordion); Dave Manington (bass); Tim Giles (drums)
(Review by Steve H/ Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Finally, after attending several fairly non challenging gigs, one to excite the musical taste buds. Any technically gifted jazz musician can knock out SummertimeMy Funny Valentine and even Fog on the Tyne to a standard where audience members can take comfort in recognising familiar territory, enjoying a classic tune whilst appreciating the skilled improvisation. Don’t get me wrong The Great American Song Book has stood the test of time and great songs don’t just roll off the conveyor belt every 50 years or so but too much GAS can lead to a lot of hot air. Personally, nothing beats the excitement of hearing brand new sounds. The tune around the corner may not be as good as the old classic but the element of surprise more than makes up for this.
David Manington’s Riff Raff gave an exhilarating and original performance to a packed house in the upstairs room at the Jazz Café on Tuesday night. All members of the sextet perform as a unit rather than individual soloists to create a group dynamic. Brigitte Beraha’s improvised wordless vocals harmonizing perfectly with George Crowley’s sax was very impressive indeed.  The standout pieces of the first set were  Bjork’s Anchor Time (the only non Manington composed piece), The Iliad, which had a bit of everything in it and What shall I Have With My Gravy? which fortunately didn't.
At the interval all seemed very positive awaiting the second set with eager anticipation. We were not disappointed as things just got better and better. It began with Water Torture which was not at all unpleasant. The next two numbers were for me the highlight of the evening and both featured Ivo Neame on accordion to add a further dimension. Danger Pig named after Manington’s young son’s super hero alter ego really hit a groove and this was followed by Crisps With That? a Balkan inspired folksy piece. This segued into a ballad.  Willow Tree with Berha singing actual lyrics to the tune. The final number Hullabaloo  the title track of Riff Raff album was a rip roaring scorcher featuring a right rocky solo from guitarist Rob Updegraff. An encore was demanded and Catch Me the Moon was delivered, Beraha’s vocals again containing actual words, a slight anti-climax maybe after what had just gone before. All in all a fabulous example of  contemporary original Jazz and both the size and diversity of the audience  on the most inclement of nights shows that there is a fine appetite for this sort of fare in Newcastle .
Steve H.



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